Whatever Happened to Tevye’s Other Daughters?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock your whole life, you have probably seen Fiddler on The Roof, it’s one of the most successful, and timeless Broadway plays of all time. If you haven’t, go to youtube right now and watch some high school production, it’s a great play.

It’s the story of a Jewish dairy farmer living in a small Russian village in the years leading up to the Bolshevik revolution.

Tevye has five daughters to support on a milkman’s salary. As his daughters are hitting their teenage years, it’s time to call the matchmaker for some good Jewish husbands! But those crazy girls have thoughts of their own and each of Tevye’s three elder daughters chooses to break tradition in her own way and marry for love.

Image result for fiddler on the roof Shprintze and Bielke film

So the three main daughters end up happily married, but Tevye has five daughters.

Related image

So if you’re like me, you’ve probably wondered “Whatever happened to . . . what were their names?”

Their names (yes they are mentioned) are Shprintze (sha-sprint-za) and Bielka (B-L-ka).

Shprintze &Bielka5

Which one is which one?

Let me help you: Bielka is the baby


So what fate befell them? Well, if you’re the sort of person who likes to make up happy little stories like “One married a WWI vet, and the other became a first wave feminist.” Do yourself a favor and close this page. I got sources and you aren’t going to like them.

Fiddler on the Roof is based on “Tevye the Dairyman” a collection of short stories by Solomon Naumovich Rabinovich about Tevye and his family. While the play leaves the two youngest daughter’s fates open-ended, Rabinovich tells us exactly what happened to them and it’s not happy. Grab some tissues and read on.

Important to note: In the book, all of Tevye’s daughters are grown before the edict kicking them out of their village (you know it’s name, it’s okay, you can sing it). Just like in the play the edict is the end of the story, but that hasn’t happened yet.

So we are still in the little village of Anatevka, Shprintze and Bielka are grown up, and influenza killed Motel and Golde.

I warned you!

Tevye meets a rich widow. She wants Tevye to mentor her teenage son because he needs a father figure and people used to care about that. Remember this is around 1900, a teenage boy was expected to grow up fast, become a man, get married, and support his family! There was no internet, no video games, just back-breaking work and we liked it that way dag-nam-it!

So Tevye takes this young man under his wing, and he takes a shine to Shprintza, and Shprintza takes a shine to him. Sure enough, without even a matchmaker, these two crazy kids decide they want to get married. Tevye has been through this three times by now, so he knows his daughters and tradition.


Tevye thinks about this for all of three seconds. He is:

  • Jewish
  • From a wealthy family.

None of Tevye’s other sons-in-law have met both criteria. Yes, get married you, crazy kids!

So Shprinta’s happy, the boyfriend is happy, Tevya’s happy. Everyone’s happy. Except for his mother. Mom doesn’t want her son marrying poor, so under family pressure, he dumps Shprinta.

Well, that sucks! but broken hearts mend with time, right? Right?


The day after the breakup, Tevye carries on with his milk route doing that Tevya monologue we all love so much. He stops at the bridge because there’s some commotion, a body in the water. Shprintza pulled a move out of the Ophelia playbook. She drowned herself.

I told you to grab some tissues!

Bielka also grew up and met a man. He’s a self-made rich guy on the hunt for a trophy wife. Bielka is pretty but poor. No big deal, he grew up poor too.

Remember this is back when “old money” looked down on “new money” so he’s trying to pretend that he’s always had money. “by the way Tevye” the young man says “Could you please move away, I don’t want word getting around that I married a milkman’s daughter.” Yeah, Tevye’s new son-in-law is kind of a jerk.

Tevye straight up asks Bielka why she agreed to marry this asshole and she tells him that she did what her parents always wanted from their daughters, she married a rich Jewish man. The fact that he’s an asshole? She’ll live with it because Tevye isn’t getting any younger and her new hubby can afford to let Tevye retire. So Tevye’s baby girl, sweet Bielka does marry for love. . . just not love for her husband.


You will never look at this hug the same way

So there you have it, Shprintze killed herself for love and Bielka is stuck in a loveless marriage.

Shprintze &Bielka4
Happy future girls!


    1. Crazy thing is the actress Golde, died two years later of cancer… such a sad ending but I’m guessing that was closer to the truth about life back then. I’d like to continue to embrace the ending in which they move as a family to America.


      1. Golde dies in the stories too (implied of natural causes/old age), and so does Motl the tailor (of consumption), leaving Tzeitel widowed with two young children. So Tzeitel moves back in with Papa Tevye, along with the kids, and after that is when they get kicked out of town. They (Tevye, Tzeitel, and her kids) leave to wander off to nowhere in particular.

        Chava may or may not have come with them; that part was left open. When she heard they were kicked out, she packed a bundle of her stuff, left her Christian husband, and went to beg her dad to forgive her and let her accompany them in exile, but he never said whether he accepted or rejected it.

        The only ones who live in America at the end are Bielke and her once-rich husband. He went bankrupt soon after their marriage and they had to become fugitives from his creditors. The “happy” couple end up as factory workers in America.


  1. Why why did I read this??? Lol only reason I looked this up is because my kids asked me what happens to them- to which I’m NOT going to answer nor tell them.


    1. Oh Priscilla, we withhold the truth and/or lie to our children in the name of protection. We encourage a fairytale view of life, which does not prepare them for the real world.

      What really happens to their trust and confidence in us when they realize we’ve been feeding them pap when they were ready for meat? We protect our children best by arming them with truth, after enlightening ourselves.

      While pondering what else I wanted to say, I remembered something I’d like to share. People were horrified to learn about the practice of child scarification in a particular African tribe (Maasai or maybe Dinka, I can’t remember). The tribe was horrified to learn that people leave their children with others, ofttimes strangers, to look after them.

      What our children really need is lots of quality time spent teaching them about our world as it really is and survival within it – and having some fun too, lol! But with their family, not others.

      A child dies every 15 seconds due to lack of resources. When your children learn this and ask you why, what will you say?

      It is truth that humans are outbreeding their resources, trashing their only home, and extincting other animals besides ourselves. Humans are the direct cause of climate change, pandemics, and every other dysfunctional occurrence on our planet. When our planet’s ecosystems are all balanced and healthy, they can support about 3 billion Homo sapiens. We are almost 9 billion.

      Overbreeding and capitalistic greed are the legacies we leave our children to deal with. Why?

      May the New Year be filled with truth and enlightenment and actions taken to change our legacies.

      Thank you for your time!


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